Uni reading room helps residents envision new plaza in Brooklyn

lefThe Uni portable reading room is designed to share books, promote learning, and improve public space. That final criteria is why we love deployments like our visit yesterday to the corner of Ocean and Parkside Avenues in Brooklyn. We joined a one-day event organized by local residents to help envision the possibilities of a new DOT pedestrian plaza coming to this stretch of sidewalk in front of the Parkside Q train station. Residents borrowed tables and chairs for the day and got passersby involved in bulb planting and tree pit maintenance. It reminded me of our early visits to a parking lot in Corona, which is now a thriving pedestrian plaza. The Uni is an urban mechanic’s tool: it transforms bare pavement into an appealing, safe and uplifting place in just 10 minutes. In the city, pop-up is the way we till the soil and plant the seed of better public spaces.

NPPThanks to Rudy Delson and other members of The Parkside Committee for inviting us. Thanks also to City Councilman Mathieu Eugene, for stopping by. Finally, thanks to author and long-time Uni supporter Emma Straub for coming down the street with her son. Our participation was made possible by funds granted by the Charles H. Revson Foundation through the Neighborhood Plaza Partnership.

 


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The initial ingredients: chairs and tables borrowed from the NYC DOT and a Uni reading room kit with benches.

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When this young man told us that he was into transportation, Leslie showed him our shelf curated by NYC DOT.
He dived into a volume about street plans. Learning is a path.

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Hot chocolate can be used to enliven public space.

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Rudy Delson of The Parkside Committee talks shop with City Councilman Mathieu Eugene.

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Councilman Eugene with two neighbors and Uni patrons, Emma and River Fusco-Straub.

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This young man told Leslie he was good at art and making things and wanted to see books with paintings. She showed him our books contributed by MoMA. Inspiration.

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Imagine a dynamic pedestrian plaza here soon. That’s what we all did today. Thanks everyone!

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The Uni Project is the operating name (DBA) of Street Lab, a 501c3 nonprofit.